The oldest vine in California

California, a state with 137 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) that stretch as far north as Trinity County and as far south as Riverside County, has been producing wine for more than 150 years. Do you know where the oldest living vine  in California is located? Napa? Sonoma? Keep guessing. You might be surprised by where the vine is.

Avila Adobe Vine

The oldest living vine in California is in Southern California. The Vina Madre (mother vine), was planted at the San Gabriel Mission in the 18th century. It is unknown if the Vina Madre vine at San Gabriel is still alive. But a cutting from that vine was planted in downtown Los Angeles in the early 1800s, predating the statehood of California in 1850.

According to Wes Hagen and other winemakers and educators, the first planting of vinifera vines was in the California Missions – starting in San Diego and then San Juan and then San Gabriel. There is no proof that the vines still exist in San Diego and Hagen is investigating whether the vine planted at the San Gabriel mission is still alive and producing. But, the vine at the Avila Adobe is the oldest vine that is still producing that he has encountered.

Wes Hagen and the Avila Adobe Vine

Read the complete story in the Napa Valley Register.
Check out the photos from my visit to the Avila Adobe.

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